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'Wheeler dealers' to pocket massive £140 million in GKN takeover - union

By James Pugh | Telford | Business | Published:

Bankers, financiers, lawyers and public relations executives stand to rake in about £140 million if Melrose succeeds in its bid for the aerospace and automotive engineering firm GKN, it has been claimed.

GKN site in Telford

Britain's largest union, Unite, has revealed the sum in fees and expenses was the equivalent to last night's national lottery 12 times over - or 83 times the average total lifetime wage of a GKN worker.

GKN has an operation in Telford that employs about 340 people.

Detailed in Melrose's own bid document, the figures for fees and expenses follow earlier revelations that the four top executives of Melrose stand to make a reported £285 million between them in incentives if they boost GKN's share price following a successful takeover.

The figures came ahead of yesterday's meeting with the business secretary Greg Clark, where Unite workplace representatives from GKN urged the secretary of state to block Melrose's bid in the public interest, warning that the deal could damage the government's industrial strategy and national defence interests.

Unite assistant general secretary for aerospace Steve Turner said: "The astronomical sums of money that could be pocketed by bankers, financiers and Melrose bosses from the 'debt fuelled' takeover of GKN would have the Gordon Gekkos of the 1980s licking their lips.

'Vital component '

"This is a bid that puts a 'jackpot' payday for a small number of people ahead of the long-term stability of a world a class engineering firm and the thousands of workers who make it a success.

"The government needs to stop this takeover and prevent the wealth of the firm being stripped and funnelled into the pockets of wheeler dealers at the expense of GKN workers' livelihoods."

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Unite assistant general secretary for manufacturing Tony Burke added: "GKN is at the cutting edge of electric vehicle technology and aerospace engineering. It is a vital component in making the UK government's industrial strategy a success and integral to UK defence interests.

"The short term desire of a few to rake in millions through this takeover puts all this at risk. There is a real danger if the takeover succeeds that long term investment will dry up, leading to cuts in research and development and the UK's defence capability being harmed.

"The business secretary Greg Clark must use the power he has to act in the national interest and intervene to block this bid, as well as strengthening takeover laws to ensure public and social interests are put first.

"Unite is clear, we will not allow two sets of management to compete for the affections of shareholders by promising faster and deeper cuts. For Unite defending jobs always comes first."

James Pugh

By James Pugh
@JamesP_Star

Shropshire Star Business and Farming Editor.

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